Zidovudine is one of the current HIV treatment modalities, used for the management of HIV infection in adults. It is routinely prescribed for people infected with HIV showing clinical symptoms of the disease or having CD4 counts less than 200 cell/mm3. It is sometimes given to people immediately after HIV exposure through needle stick or other hospital exposure, although it isn`t known whether the drug is effective in preventing the virus, once it is inside their bodies, from infecting these people.
Zidovudine is also used to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of the virus during pregnancy and birth and to treat HIV-infected children over three months of age who have HIV-related symptoms or who are asymptomatic with significant HIV-related suppression of their immune systems.
Zidovudine was the first anti-HIV drug and has become the standard against which new treatment are usually compared.
However Zidovudine is not a cure for HIV infection of AIDS, and people who use it may continue to experience symptoms of HIV, opportunistic infection, and declining immune-system function.
Zidovudine has a number of side effect, including skin manifestation. Zidovudine may result in hyperpigmentation of the nails, oral mucosa, and skin. About 1 month after Zidovudine therapy, the color of the proximal white portion of nail change to bluish. Then, a hyperpigmented longitudinal nail bands appear. Cutaneous hyperpigmentation may also be noted due to Zidovudine treatment.
But these side effect is not serious. The most serious side effects of Zidovudine are anemia, granulocytopenia, and myopathy.